Gulf | Bahrain

Policeman gets seven years for protester’s death

Court action part of Bahraini drive against use of excessive force

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 16:39 January 31, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: A court in Bahrain on Thursday sentenced a policeman to seven years in prison for fatally shooting a demonstrator two years ago.

Ali Abdul Hadi Meshaima was killed on February 14, 2011, the day events hit Bahrain and led to months of unrest in the country.

The public prosecution said that the policeman shot the victim, causing injuries stated in the forensic report as leading to his death.

Bahraini authorities had vowed to take legal action against all security personnel who were found guilty of using excessive force during the unrest.

According to the report published in November 2011 by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), a panel of international legal experts set up by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and led by Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni to look into the events, Ali Abdul Hadi was pronounced dead at 8.20pm and that the death certificate stated that the cause of death was shotgun injuries to the back.

A forensic report determined the cause of death to be from a single shot that was fired from behind, according to the report.

“The shotgun round penetrated the left side of the chest area damaging the left lung and the heart, which resulted in bleeding within the chest,” the report said.

Meshaima died on the way to the hospital.

The report said that an investigation into the case conducted by the interior ministry “found that six police officers were surrounded and attacked by approximately 500 demonstrators and that the police officers after exhausting their supply of rubber bullets and tear gas, resorted to the use of shotguns and managed to disperse the crowds.”

The report said that Ali’s death can be attributed to the use of excessive force by police officers.

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